i just want to say how refreshing it is to know that there are so many other well-meaning temperamental mamas out there. i belong to a local AP group that seems to mainly consist of mostly-even-keeled mamas who are very experienced in GD, and it makes me feel like i can't express my true issues with my temper. i know, after tons of research and soul-searching, that my childhood damaged me greatly, and it's going to take years to heal from it -- even more difficult as i try my damnedest to "break the cycle". it's so hard.
one thing that helps me when i'm getting mad at my kids is to remember that they are JUST CHILDREN -- to reevaluate my expectations of them and question whether they are developmentally appropriate. this is easier for me than it may be for other mamas since i've got a LOT of practice with all these little'uns, but it's nice to be able to (mostly) laugh my way through the "terrible twos" because i understand sooo much more about the development of a 2yo and completely expect everything he doles out. my FIL once told me a little story about him getting mad at DH when he was little (~7yo), and DH looked at him with sad eyes and said, "but Daddy, i'm just a little boy". that stopped my FIL dead in his tracks and he realized that DH was right; he was just being a kid, and no one can fault him for that.
my point is, knowing the developmental stages really well makes it so much easier to be compassionate when they are acting out. i'm far from perfect; this is just one thing i have learned over the years that has made things a little easier in some aspects. don't worry, i still totally belong in this "tribe".